United sign Herrera

Manchester United have signed Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera after meeting the buy-out clause in his Athletic Bilbao contract.

Ander Herrera, left, has joined Manchester United from Athletic Bilbao
Ander Herrera, left, has joined Manchester United from Athletic Bilbao

United had a bid of £28.85million for the 24-year-old rejected earlier on Thursday but an improved, though undisclosed, offer was enough to secure his signature.

Herrera said: "Signing for Manchester United is a dream come true. I have played at Old Trafford for Athletic Club in the Europa League and it was one of the highlights of my career so far.

"I have joined United to do all I can to help the team reach the club's objectives. Having arrived on Tuesday I'm excited to now be living in Manchester and I can't wait for my first game in United's famous red shirt."

Herrera is the club's first major signing since Louis van Gaal was confirmed as manager. He has penned a four-year contract, with United holding an option to extend his stay for a further year.

The Red Devils attempted to sign the talented playmaker last summer but failed to complete the deal on deadline day, with reports suggesting the transfer had been interfered with by pranksters pretending to act on the club's behalf.

Then-manager David Moyes instead bought Marouane Fellaini, who endured a disappointing debut campaign and failed to solve the team's long-term problems in central midfield.

Herrera, who scored 11 goals in 128 appearances for Bilbao, will be charged with bringing added control to United's midfield, where he will compete for a place with the likes of Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley and Fellaini.

"Ander is a fantastic young player, with great energy and creativity," assistant manager Ryan Giggs said.

"We believe him to be one of the brightest young prospects in Spain and I am certain he will be a big hit with the United fans.

"I'm delighted he has made the decision to come to Manchester and play his part in the club's future. I'm looking forward to seeing him in action on our summer tour to America."

Herrera is yet to play for Spain's senior team but has been capped at Under-20, Under-21 and Under-23 level.